Airport Facilities Are Obsolete, FAAN Laments

Spread the love

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Senate Ad hoc Committee on Aviation was told on Tuesday that most of the facilities and equipment at the nation’s airports are obsolete as quite a number of them were acquired over 30 years ago.
This is even as the Ministry of Aviation has declared that it is only waiting for the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the national carrier, as the report on it was ready.
Dropping the hint, the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, lamented that the equipment and facilities at the airports like generators, air conditioners, elevators and conveyor belts were not functioning as expected again because the agency could not afford modern ones to replace old ones.
Dunoma cited an instance when FAAN management invited the manufacturers of a giant generator installed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos from Germany recently to help fix the faulty power plant.
He said that the manufacturers said it would be difficult to fix it because the brand was no longer in circulation.
He added that the manufacturers even expressed surprise that the generator, which was as old as the airport itself, was still functional because the parts were no longer in stock.
He regretted that the facilities were being overstretched because new ones had not been acquired in recent years.
He, however, expressed confidence that efforts were being made to acquire new ones as part of the current remodeling project going on at all the nation’s airports.
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
Dunoma noted that the agency was committed to executing the airport massive terminus project strictly, according to the Master Plan.
As a result, Nigerians should not compare the cost of constructing them to what some state governments had put in place, he said.
But the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation, Hajiya Binta Bello, said budgetary provisions alone are not enough to transform the nation’s airports.
Bello revealed that a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, made use of intervention funds to execute her remodeling project.
She further lamented the state of the Port Harcourt Airport, especially the departure wing, and attributed its condition to the non-completion of  the project, which was started by the last administration.
She hinted that the committee set up to work out the possibility of setting up a national carrier had concluded its work and that her ministry had submitted the report to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.
“We are waiting for President Buhari’s approval so that we can take the draft bill to the Federal Executive Council once it is inaugurated. Everything about the project is ready,” she said.
On the privatisation of the nation’s airports, both Bello and Dunoma agreed that it may not be feasible for now because only three of the airports are currently viable.
According to the FAAN boss, the MMIA in Lagos was designed to  provide services to about 11 million passengers per year; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was built to accommodate nine million; while Mallam Aminu Kano Airport in Kano can take care of six million air travellers.
But Bello said alternative source of funding like imposing development levies on all international passengers as being done worldwide was being considered.
She expressed optimism that the nation would realise adequate funds through such means to carry out some of the projects in the aviation sector.

Spread the love